Young Cyclones stars to fill void left by Brady injury
BASKETBALL: Coach Chris Muggeridge will look to rising stars Briana Bailey and Jessica Lorraway to fill the void left by Alex Brady when the Rockhampton Cyclones take on the unbeaten Brisbane Spartans on Friday.
Brady was forced from the court when her knee injury flared in the opening minutes of the game against the ladder-leading Mackay Meteorettes on Saturday.
Muggeridge was forced to make positional changes on the fly and the two-time defending champions struggled to find their rhythm, going down 97-71 to Mackay who have won all seven of their games.
"It was a tough game and we definitely need to work on what we do and get better,” he said.
"The injury to Alex really hurt us. Once she was off the court, we struggled to build rhythm and get into our sets.
"It was a challenging night but we definitely learnt a lot from it.”
Muggeridge said Abby Bishop, who finished with a game-high 29 points, played her heart out and Lorraway, who got her first decent minutes in the QBL, did a fantastic job, particularly in her defensive assignment on Micaela Cocks.
Star import Shanavia Dowdell scored 10 points in her first appearance of the season.
"We've changed some things up from last year and we've got some different personnel so it wasn't an easy transition for Shanavia but she's only going to get better as the season goes on,” Muggeridge said.
Brady will be unavailable for this week's home game against the Spartans, the only other undefeated team in the league.
"It's going to be a very challenging night and we need to make sure we prepare for them well and we're mentally right to go,” Muggeridge said.
The Cyclones are three and three from their six games this season and are currently in eighth place on the ladder.
Meanwhile, the Rockhampton Rockets were also beaten on the road trip to Mackay, going down 114-96 to the Mackay Meteors.
Chris Fowler top-scored for the Rockets with 22 points, while fellow American import Rashad Hassan chimed in with 14 in his first outing with the team.